Program Promotes the Development and Enhancement of Small Businesses & Downtowns

TRENTON, N.J – The Department of Community Affairs’ (DCA) today announced that seats are still available for the 13th annual Downtown Revitalization & Management Institute (DRMI) hosted by Main Street New Jersey (MSNJ). Designing Downtown NOW: Real Tactics and Tools to Enhance Your Business and Districts will focus on tactical business, building and district changes that are short-term and hands-on. The conference will take place in Atlantic City on July 25, 2012 at the Atlantic City Convention Center. To register for this event, please visit

This year’s DRMI will show businesses and districts short-term low cost ways to make real changes to building appearance that can increase commerce and property value and enhance the perception of the district by taking direct actions to turn tough places into bright spots of positive economic and social activity.

“Main Street New Jersey’s DRMI provides training sessions covering the enhancement of communities’ downtown economic, physical, social and civic value,” stated DCA Commissioner Richard E. Constable, III. “The conference will also bring cutting-edge experts and practitioners from around the country to share best practices.”  

For the past 20 years, the goal of the DRMI has been to assist property owners in improving, creating, reform, and maintaining viable communities for living and business activities. The program has developed from simply solving street complications to enlisting the help of public and private partnerships, as well as expert professional managers, to guide districts in complex economic development initiatives. MSNJ understands the decline of districts’ main streets over time and provides a comprehensive community-based management approach that enables communities to bring back the vitality of their downtown areas.

“This year’s conference, which is focused on the physical design aspects of cities, will cover topics from Tactical Urbanism to Urban Businesses and Storefronts,” said Jef Buehler, State Coordinator of the Main Street New Jersey and Improvement District Programs at the DCA. “We work hard to bring the best and the brightest to our conference. Attendees will walk away with the knowledge needed to create positive economic and social activity.”

Those who attend the July conference will meet with cutting-edge experts from around the country in specific disciplines essential for success. Upon completion of the entire training series, participants will receive a DCA certification which the Department will take into account when considering future DCA program applications.

This conference is sponsored by the New Jersey Downtown Revitalization and Management Institute, Department of Community Affairs, the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority and Main Street New Jersey. Promotional sponsors for the DRMI are Downtown NJ, the NJ American Planning Association and the Transit Village Initiative.

Through the support of the New Jersey American Planning Association, attendees will receive 3.75 AICP CM Credits for the full day’s attendance.

The Main Street Program is designed to promote the historic and economic redevelopment of traditional business districts, and to encourage and support the revitalization of downtowns throughout the state.  The benefits of the program include learning how to develop and strengthen the community, build new businesses, and create more jobs.

Additional benefits of the Main Street program include protecting and strengthening the existing tax base, as well as fostering a focus on organization, development, growth and awareness in the initial program year. If the associate programs show signs of success, the communities will have an opportunity to move up to a traditional Main Street designation where higher levels of local assistance are available, including the provision of design/architectural services and technical assistance to individual businesses within the Main Street district.

To register for this event please go to this link:

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